So I have a lot of blog posts in my drafts but never seem to have the time to finish them and press publish. Thank you guys for being so patient with me. I have a lot of fun blogs to share over the next couple of weeks so fingers crossed I get some time!
However, in the meantime, while I finish researching my next post about the best type of protein for runners, I thought it would be nice to give you an update on my dietetics hospital placement, especially considering I’ve had so many awesome messages about it on Instagram.
We’ve been there 9-5 for the past 6 weeks, which is the first time I’ve worked a full time job in nearly three years, and it’s taking some getting used to. It’s hard to balance training, blogging, commuting and work. But personally, the placement has got to come first, so it’s where I’m lying the priorities.
I am loving my placement so far. I’ve spent weeks on the paediatric, renal, liver and respiratory wards. I’ve seen patients from the age of 6 weeks to 86, with palliative treatments plans and discharge care packages. The first couple of weeks were just shadowing the dietitians, whilst the past few weeks I was given a couple of patients to look through their notes, and perform the initial dietetic assessment (with my supervising dietitian). I would then write up the notes, present them to the supervisor before they uploaded them into the online medical notes.
Just before we started placement, I was having a bit of a confidence crisis, not knowing if I was enjoying the course anymore. This has been the perfect reboot for my love of clinical nutrition, and I’ve found it an eye-opening, invigorating, fascinating and overwhelming at times.
A couple of things I’ve had reaffirmed to me on placement;
- Never take your health for granted.
- The NHS is amazing.
- The NHS is seriously massively underfunded and understaffed (those that work there do an amazing job!)
- I struggle more with some of the social side of cases than the medical
- Nutrition is still much under appreciated within treatment, but I hope it’s changing
Although we’re really good at leaving on time, we often don’t get a full 30 minute lunch break (or time to pee!). I am struggling a little with migraines because it’s so hard to stay hydrated on the wards – the first couple of weeks were particularly bad, but now I’m making sure to drink enough before heading to the ward, and bringing a bottle with me to outpatient clinics. Oh and I’m also reminded of how important it is to have a big breakfast, talking about food all day without being able to snack makes me so hungry!
I feel like I’ve learned so much in the 6 weeks that I’ve spent in the hospital, and I’m now visiting patients solo and writing up assessments, leading consultations, and actively contributing to patient care.
Yesterday, I spoke to a newly diagnosed Gestational Diabetes patients, and talking through GD education; the balanced plate, choosing lower GI foods, the importance of protein and fibre, serving sizes, exercise, calcium and vitamin D… Testing blood glucose levels. I enjoyed chatting with the patient and had good feedback from my supervisor on my first solo outpatient consultation which is great. There’s still a lot to work on, and a lot to learn, but I feel like I’m making progress!
I’m going to share a ‘Day in the Life’ post in a couple of weeks to show you more of what it’s like as a dietetics student on placement. Would love to know if you’d like to see more of this kind of thing?
I’m going back to uni in September to train as a primary school teacher and I’d be really grateful for a post about how to fit ‘life’ in. You’re totally right that something has to be prioritised but I would love tips about how to fit running in and how to set sensible goals that motivate but don’t overwhelm, how to eat healthily when you have very little time to cook, how to keep relationships healthy (thinking of my husband and my son), what you have to say ‘no’ to etc. I know Megan Roche, the US trail runner, has been clear that she can only manage 3 priorities – running, studying to be a dr and her marriage. I wonder if that’s something you’ve found too.
I would love to see a day in the life of a dietetics student! Becoming an RD is a dream of mine but it’s not the right time in my life to pursue it so I have to live vicariously through RD2Be’s like yourself 🙂
Enjoyed this post Charlie! Can’t imagine talking about food all day and no chance to eat ?
Good luck and well done on getting so far already
Great post Charlie! Look forward to reading more.